Wednesday, 15 July 2015 AT 10:09 PM IST
 
You know the little tea glasses you get at the roadside tea stalls (now most are plastic, but that’s another story)? These little glasses hold just the right amount of tea that is needed for that morning or afternoon pick up.

 

The tea is usually strong, milky and sweet giving you an energy boost. The amount of tea in these glasses is approximately 40 ml. The tea cups in our home vary in size, but generally, they hold about 50ml.

Most people drink a cup of tea (or coffee) in the morning, a cup in the late afternoon and sometimes in the late morning at the office. So that would make about 150ml of tea per day. Each 50 ml cup of this milky sweet tea is about 60 calories; that means you would be consuming 180 calories of tea per day.

Now, these glasses, small cups and the cup and saucer set, have been replaced by larger cups or mugs. Our Indian chai has many healthy properties, especially if you add ginger and other spices. But it is not meant to be drunk in such large quantities. All those concentrated spices are not good for our gut, and all those calories are not good for our waistline either. The new chic and hip mugs were designed for tea made with tea bags, where you require less milk and sugar.

In the US, many restaurant portion sizes are too large and that is a major factor in the growing rate of obesity. People feel they are getting a better deal if they are given more of something — in this case, tea or coffee.

In Pune, the mugs at well-known chain coffee shops are enormous! Even a small sized coffee/tea comes in a large mug at much higher prices. We need to get our money’s worth, of course, so we end up drinking more than we really need. We should follow the European model where a small espresso should be sipped over an hour with pleasure.

Are you one of those who has replaced cups with mugs in your home? If so, you may have seen some unexpected weight gain. You may not have control over coffee shops but you can exert control at home.

In the end, it’s all about portions. Think about how many tea and coffee calories you are consuming. Make our Indian chai or strong filter kaphi and enjoy it in your old cup and saucer set!